Connected Cars: India’s New Data Centres

Automotive production has come a long way from a maker designing everything inside and outside the vehicle. Modern cars are an amalgamation of parts made by different companies such as JBL, Alcon and Suzuki. With connected cars, we could soon see tech companies and telcos being added to that list.

The number of connected vehicles is expected to rise by 300% over the next five years. This includes communication, navigation and infotainment capabilities as well as remote monitoring and operation. India in particular is pursuing telematics – the long distance transfer of digital information.

Driven by the central government’s mandate to have telematics systems in all public commercial vehicles, the Indian telematics market is expected to be worth $300 million by 2021. Factories are already using smart logistics to track and remotely manage fleets. Moving forward, we could see sophisticated On Board Diagnostic (OBD) systems that let manufacturers and customers see vehicle health in real-time.

Data at the Connected Car’s Core

Through such predictive maintenance, owners could reduce the money and time spent on repairs. The data could also be used by factories to manufacture components for specific use cases. Connected cars can also receive over-the-air (OTA) changes as easily as your smartphone. For instance, Tesla recently altered the braking distance on some Model 3s through an update – this would have needed a recall to the service centre earlier.

With India moving towards Smart Cities, Vehicle to Everything (V2X) communication is an exciting opportunity to be explored. It allows vehicles to talk to each other and their environment, providing information such as traffic and accident warnings. This would make commuting significantly safer.

Data provided by a smart building could help in making a city safer. Law enforcement could use this to track down suspects. Crimes could be logged instantly, with the nearest squad dispatched to the location. The cops’ connected cars could also assess the possible exits from the scene and call for roadblocks or backup on the go.

For consumers, V2X would mean the car talking to a smart home. It would tell the microwave to heat the food and keep the fridge well-stocked by the time you get home from work. Depending on traffic, it could also order in from your favourite restaurant and have the delivery meet you as you enter.

Connected cars are more accessible than you think. Maruti recently launched a ₹ 10,000 add-on to integrate their cars with the Suzuki Connect IoT platform. Other companies such as Ola, Microsoft and Huawei are also working on their own solutions. The future is networked.

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